By on January 10, 2019

With so many bewildering and downright fantastical automotive concepts premiering at the Consumer Electronics Show this time of year, it’s easy to feel downtrodden by the industry’s mobility shenanigans. Thankfully, CES still plays host to some genuinely interesting tech that might actually make your life a little easier.

For French automotive supplier Valeo, that meant showcasing a system that utilizes cameras and some very careful framing to effectively see through a towed object. Called the XtraVue Trailer system, the technology works in a similar fashion as the nanotechnology invisibility blanket under development by the U.S. military — just much simpler. (Read More…)

By on January 8, 2019

Expanding on last year’s concept, Honda is reintroducing “Dream Drive” for this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Previously a platform intended to provide passengers with augmented and virtual reality experiences, Double D now focuses primarily on in-car purchases. In fact, the service seems identical to General Motors’ Marketplace.

That’s right, Honda is entering the dark realm of in-car consumerism and twisted corporate partnerships. (Read More…)

By on January 8, 2019

Hyundai kicked off the New Year by teasing a concept vehicle it claims can tackle just about any terrain in a manner befitting Inspector Gadget. That’s because it’s time for the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which is the premiere event for showcasing half-baked and incomplete technological marvels in a desperate effort to titillate investors and tech fetishists.

For Hyundai, that meant rolling out computer-generated images of Project Elevate and its Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV) after a few days of gentle teasing. Normally, I wouldn’t touch a topic like this if I wasn’t planning on making fun of it — which is what I intend to do here. But before getting too deep into the ridicule, there’s an important takeaway to be made: This lack of vision might herald the final days of mobility-based marketing.  (Read More…)

By on January 2, 2019

Chinese automaker Byton wowed the world when it introduced a concept vehicle playing host to more interior screen space than seemed wise. Both the K and M-Byte Concepts carried this trend through the past year by including a small interactive display inside the steering wheel.

At the time, we attributed the design as a fantastical inclusion meant to build hype for the burgeoning brand. But new details have emerged, indicating Byton wants to keep the concept interior all the way to assembly. According to CarScoops, a recent teaser image shows what’s rumored to be the production interior of the M-Byte, which makes its debut at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The manufacturer calls it the “world’s most intuitive automotive interface.”  (Read More…)

By on January 9, 2018

FIsker EMotion with Hinrick

Fisker, now called Fisker, Inc. after the company Henrik Fisker originally created fell into bankruptcy, is going after the luxury EV market for a second time. Don’t let past money troubles worry you too much, though. Even Henry Ford filed for bankruptcy twice before forming the company that build the Model T.

Instead, let your fears stem from the questionable build quality of the Fisker Karma, which faltered on the market in 2012. Because the new model, dubbed the EMotion, appears to be a rehash of the old formula with its ambitions set much higher. Offering self-driving abilities, an impressive electric range, an extravagant design, and some of the market’s most desirable infotainment functions, the EMotion is either a trumped-up prototype or the absolute pinnacle of electric luxury sedans. (Read More…)

By on January 8, 2018

Byton SIV concept

On Sunday at CES, Chinese-backed car startup Byton officially unveiled its first drivable prototype. The all-electric crossover, dubbed the SIV, arrived with its dashboard-encompassing touchscreen intact. Byton says the car will be available near the end of 2019 with the 49-inch “shared-experience” display, touchscreen steering wheel, Amazon’s Alexa, and Level 3 autonomy.

Despite a demo video featuring some cringe-worthy acting, Byton’s unveiling went off without a hitch. The company even released footage of the SIV putting around a parking lot a day early to prove that it had, in fact, build a functional prototype. But it’s promising quite a bit on a relatively narrow timeline, and we’ve seen how poorly that can play out for a Chinese-backed EV startup(Read More…)

By on January 3, 2018

Even though automotive trade shows are becoming more tech-focused, its still a difficult environment for a fledgling carmaker to break into. That’s one reason the Consumer Electronics Show, now just called “CES,” has hosted so many Chinese startups these last few years. One of the newest is the e-car manufacturer Byton, formerly known as Future Mobility.

While Byton sounds more like the name of a vehicle than a brand — especially since it was, two months earlier — it’s infinitely better than mashing two of the auto industry’s most-popular buzzwords together and pretending it means something. The company was also wise to get away from any moniker that might allow the public to confuse it with Faraday Future.

However, adopting the name of its singular model means Byton had to come up with something new for the vehicle scheduled to make its world debut at CES next week. Now dubbed the SIV (smart intuitive vehicle), the Chinese-brand is promising a “next generation smart device” that is “uniquely built for the coming era of truly shared, smart mobility and autonomous driving.”  (Read More…)

By on April 6, 2017

IAA trade show

Frankfurt is the real deal when it comes to trade events. Germany’s International Motor Show is the oldest and, frequently, the largest exhibition of new vehicles and automotive engineering on the planet. However, some important automakers are deciding not to bother with it this year.

The event’s organizer, Germany’s VDA industry association, has confirmed that several automakers have cancelled on the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung in September 2017. While there will still be over 50 individual brands from Europe, Asia, and the United States, a few of the heavier hitters are following the trend of taking their marketing money off the floor and rerouting it back into digital advertising.  (Read More…)

By on January 3, 2017

fca-portal-concept

It turns out that the all-electric car Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was rumored to unveil at the Consumer Electronics Show isn’t going to be a EV Pacifica, but an new concept EV called the Chrysler Portal.

However, FCA’s new concept electric doesn’t show that the company is abandoning its internal combustion predisposition. If anything, it is weighing its options. (Read More…)

By on February 1, 2016

copyright_volkswagen

The Verge has an article today about the arduous process of hoops YouTube makes publishers jump through if a copyright infringement claim is made against a video. It’s an interesting look behind the scenes of video publishing and the tools YouTube makes available to copyright holders wanting to protect intellectual property. It also highlights the lack of human-based recourse publishers have when it comes to hollow copyright claims.

“Fair use” allows limited use of copyrighted material. This is how parodies and satires get around certain legal restraints. Fair use is also why we can use snippets of articles from other outlets, so long as we don’t use those articles in their entirety.

Even further, automakers make materials available for editorial use on their own press portals. This material is offered free of charge by automakers so we can pimp their products. But sometimes they make a mistake and post the wrong thing.

Volkswagen posted the wrong thing. And now our YouTube channel is crippled.

(Read More…)

By on January 8, 2016

naiaslogo

To paraphrase Andy Williams (or Johnny Mathis, depending on your personal preference), it’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

Next week, TTAC will be bringing you live coverage from the floor of the North American International Auto Show in glorious downtown Detroit, including the exciting reveal of the … umm … come on, Bark, think. I know something exciting will be revealed, right?

Just kidding. We’ll see the new BMW M2 coupe, and a bunch of incredibly exciting crossovers. Regardless, it will be hard for this year’s big show to match the excitement of last year’s event: there’s no Ford GT painted in an unobtainium shade of blue and no Shelby GT350R doing smoldering donuts around it. But it’s still NAIAS, and that still means something.

Or does it?

(Read More…)

By on January 7, 2016

ELIO_STILLS.07-723x406

Regulators may rain on Elio’s parade even before they got started.

That, Volvo takes a serious stab at full-size luxury conventional wisdom, the big get bigger and Ford’s hybrids only go so far … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on January 6, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

General Motors CEO — and Chairwoman! — Mary Barra unveiled on Wednesday the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The compact electric car had already broken cover earlier in the day (oops), but the first look at Chevrolet’s “production” electric car raised more questions than it gave answers.

According to Barra, the car will be produced sometime late this year and sell for around $30,000 after tax incentives. The Bolt will run for 200 miles, either on a charge that will take “overnight” for a full battery, or one hour to 80 percent using a DC fast charger.

It’s unclear when and where it will go on sale, or what its batteries are made of. Oh well, at least we can talk about its “gamification!”

(Read More…)

By on January 6, 2016

Autodesk VRED Professional 2016 SP1

Started in New York City in 1967 as an offshoot of the Chicago Music Show, the Consumer Electronics Show has grown to capture the interest and intrigue of automakers. Las Vegas now has two auto shows.

That, Volkswagen’s unending stream of German-accented apologies, why Ford might not be hitching itself to Google and how you can become an automotive journalist* … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on January 6, 2016

Autodesk VRED Professional 2014 SR1-SP7

UPDATE: Volkswagen says the range is 233 miles on the EPA cycle, 373 miles on the New European Driving Cycle.

Volkswagen unleashed its futuristic Microbus concept car in Las Vegas on Tuesday, complete with expressive face, connectedness to the “Internet of Things,” and gesture control everywhere, but only its bare bones are rooted in any real future for the automaker.

The 2016 Microbus, which is “dubbed BUDD-e,” is the latest and perhaps most significant iteration of the Microbus because of its timing. This week, the U.S. Justice Department announced it filed a $40 billion lawsuit against the automaker for cheating emissions tests.

In Las Vegas, Volkswagen showed off its modular electric powertrain architecture underpinning the Microbus that’ll almost certainly make it to production in one, or several cars — just probably not this one.

(Read More…)

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